Mettler-Toledo Safeline has launched a new, effective data collection option which enables Universal Serial Bus (USB) data sticks or flash drives to be used to gather and store information on product inspection processes. This data can be used to prove that due diligence has been exercised in quality control processes in the event of a contamination issue or product recall, helping food manufacturers meet food safety legislation and standards such as the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) and also food retailer guidelines. The new USB data collection tool is available across the full range of Mettler-Toledo’s metal detection, x-ray and checkweigher systems.
Global food safety initiatives such as the British Retail Consortium Global Standard (BRC), International Featured Standards (IFS), Safe Quality Food Program (SQF) and Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC 22000) as well as leading food retailers demand that information about the production and packaging processes be gathered and documented. Additionally, records must be kept in line with a Hazards and Critical Control Points Analysis (HACCP) based programme. Required data typically includes Performance Verification Reports (PVR) to prove that product inspection systems have been correctly and periodically tested, shift reports detailing production throughput numbers, batch information, rejected pack counts and reports detailing machine settings during production processes.
Previous methods of product inspection data collection and storage include manual records and paper-based reports. Mettler-Toledo has made the collection process simpler, safer and less prone to error by providing a USB socket built into the product inspection system, also avoiding paper-based audit trails. This feature enables the extensive data recorded by the metal detector, X-ray or checkweighing machine to be easily loaded onto a memory stick and stored on computers or other mass storage devices for future reference.
"In the event of a product recall, food manufacturers are legally obligated to prove that they exercised due diligence to have avoided committing the offence of which they are accused. The supporting evidence should include all relevant records and data pertaining to product inspection, including validation information on equipment tests and production line processes. The USB data collection option will enable manufacturers to more easily and reliably show that all necessary measures and reasonable precautions were taken to protect customers from any risks and thus, will help to protect their brand reputation," said Jonathan Richards, marketing manager, Mettler-Toledo Safeline.
Typical data collected by Mettler-Toledo’s metal detection systems include Performance Verification Reports (PVR) to prove systems have been correctly and periodically tested and shift reports detailing production throughput numbers, batch information and all important rejected pack counts.
The USB option compliments other data collection facilities available from Mettler-Toledo, including hand-held portable printers, Ethernet-based connectivity systems and connection to the company’s Freeweigh.net statistical quality control (SQC) package. Manufacturers are also able to utilise ProdX, Mettler-Toledo’s dedicated and innovative software package that focuses on the collection of data from product inspection systems.